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Journal Article

Microbial diversity of the freshwater sponge Spongilla lacustris


Glöckner,  F. O.
Microbial Genomics Group, Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Gernert, C., Glöckner, F. O., Krohne, G., & Hentschel, U. (2005). Microbial diversity of the freshwater sponge Spongilla lacustris. Microbial Ecology, 50(2), 206-212.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-D015-C
To provide insight into the phylogenetic bacterial diversity of the freshwater sponge Spongilla lacustris, a 16S rRNA gene libraries were constructed from sponge tissues and from lake water. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of >190 freshwater sponge-derived clones resulted in six major restriction patterns, from which 45 clones were chosen for sequencing. The resulting sequences were affiliated with the Alphaproteobacteria (n = 19), the Actinobacteria (n = 15), the Betaproteobacteria (n = 2), and the Chloroflexi (n = 2) lineages. About half of the sequences belonged to previously described actinobacterial (hgc-I) and betaproteobacterial (beta-II) sequence clusters of freshwater bacteria that were also present in the lake water 16S rRNA gene library. At least two novel, deeply rooting alphaproteobacterial lineages were recovered from S. lacustris that showed <89% sequence similarity to known phylogenetic groups. Electron microscopical observations revealed that digested bacterial remnants were contained within food vacuoles of sponge archaeocytes, whereas the extracellular matrix was virtually free of bacteria. This study is the first molecular diversity study of a freshwater sponge and adds to a growing database on the diversity and community composition of sponge-associated microbial consortia.